The Wicked Girls

The Wicked Girls

3.47 (12,121 ratings by Goodreads)
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One fateful summer morning in 1986, two eleven-year-old girls meet for the first time and by the end of the day are charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside town when her investigation leads her to interview funfair cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day when they were just children. But with new lives - and families - to protect, will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 25mm | 254g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Sphere
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0751547980
  • 9780751547986
  • 30,665

Review quote

One of the best books I read this year: The suspense keeps the pages flying, but what sets this one apart is the palpable sense of onrushing doom * Stephen King, 'The Best Books I Read This Year', Entertainment Weekly * A harrowing first novel * New York Times Book Review * Tense, twisty and brimming with revelation, Alex Marwood's The Wicked Girls offers everything you dream for in a suspense novel. Not only does it hold you in its clutches, but it offers pointed and poignant insights into the way we reconcile with our past, and the collective danger of our own insatiable curiosity * Megan Abbott * This chilling debut is chock-full of surprises. If Tana French and Gillian Flynn stayed up all night telling stories at an abandoned amusement park, this is awfully close to what they might come up with * Booklist * Absorbing, plausible and unsettling . . . A suspenseful, buzz-worthy novel offering a sure-footed depiction of two women who lost their childhoods * Kirkus Review * A rundown seaside amusement park provides the backdrop for Marwood's memorable first novel . . . Marwood fills this disturbing thriller with sordid red herrings and brutal reflections * Publishers Weekly * Original, thought-provoking and utterly brilliant * The Sun * The Wicked Girls is ingenious and original -- a novel that surprises and rewards its readers, delivering a twist of an ending that I never saw coming, then realised it was the only ending that could truly satisfy. Real, chilling, true to its world and its characters. In short, a knock-out * Laura Lippman * If you like dark, twisted stories, I recommend this . . . A thumping good read * Jenny Eclair * In The Wicked Girls, debut author Alex Marwood's taut crime story poses bigger questions about tabloid witch hunts and the nature of evil * Good Housekeeping * A thrilling story... Fantastic plot and a great read * Irish News * Brilliantly taut psychological thriller. One of the best debuts of 2012 * Bella * Thought-provoking read * Star Magazine * I devoured The Wicked Girls over one weekend and loved it. I held my breath during the last few chapters * Erin Kelly * This incredible story will play on your mind. Two weeks after I read it, I can't stop thinking about it. The book of the year * The Sun * Dark, twisty and full of good surprises and insights. Marwood has delivered a compelling debut crime novel * Daily Mail * The best thriller I've read since Sister. Taut, gritty and utterly compelling * Lisa Jewell * The Wicked Girls is utterly compelling. It's psychologically rich, complex and masterfully plotted. I couldn't put it down, even when I sensed it was taking me somewhere very dark indeed. I can't wait to see what Alex Marwood comes up with next * Jojo Moyes * Having read it and devoured every page, I really wish I'd written it! It was cleverly plotted and pacy, with all the storylines thundering towards a final, gripping conclusion. I loved it * Elizabeth Haynes * Genuinely disturbing and emotionally unsettling, The Wicked Girls is irresistible * Val McDermid *show more

About Alex Marwood

Alex Marwood is the pseudonym of a journalist who has worked extensively across the British press. She is the author of the word-of-mouth sensation The Wicked Girls, which won a prestigious Edgar Award and The Killer Next Door, which won the coveted Macavity Award. She has also been shortlisted for numerous other crime writing awards and her first two novels have been optioned for the screen. Alex lives in south more

Review Text

Genuinely disturbing and emotionally unsettling, The Wicked Girls is irresistible Val McDermidshow more

Rating details

12,121 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 15% (1,866)
4 35% (4,229)
3 35% (4,254)
2 11% (1,361)
1 3% (411)

Our customer reviews

I had to keep reading until I finished this story. Amber and Kirsty are convicted murderers who are trying hard to hide their history and previous identity. The story of the death of the four year old Chloe in the past has been alternated with that of the present, the murders of several women in Whitmouth. Amber and Kirsty meet each other by coincidence. They are not supposed to see each other ever again, but when they do they want to know more about one another. It's hard not to sympathize with these two women. Which is strange as they've murdered a child. I kept wanting them to be innocent somehow. Amber and Kirsty as wicked as they are said to be or are they two victims who were at the wrong place at the wrong time? Are they kind people who made a mistake or are they cool blooded murderers? I found this very interesting. The psychological game the writer plays with the reader is the strongest characteristic of this book. It's something different and I liked that a more
by Librarian Lavender
All The Twists & Turns of a Thriller at the Funfair. Wow what a debut crime psychological thriller we have here, Alex Marwood using all her experience of being a journalist comes through who has reported on stories where the truth is stranger than fiction. Somehow Marwood has managed to put that feeling where you do not know what to believe from the beginning as you are met with two feral kids that have just been sentenced to life for murder and the braying crowd outside wanting instant ‘justice’. Annabel and Jade were sentenced to life as children cut from their families they are given new identities and released back in to society on a life licence which means any breach of their parole conditions they go straight back to prison. After 25 years Kirsty Lindsay has rebuilt her new life married with children and working as a freelance journalist is reporting on a series of murders in the sea side town of Whitmore in Kent. She comes across Amber Gordon a cleaner at the funfair on the pier at Whitmore. It is the first time both have met each other since they were stood in the dock when their sentence was being handed down and both are now scared. As the book throws us many curve balls as to who we think may be the killer or killers we literally have to see who it is, and as for the why........ One thing is made very clear to protect themselves and their families they need to work together to protect their dark secret. They are well aware how feral people can become when they hear there is a child killer in their midst and how self-righteous they become and judgemental even when sentences have been served. You can feel the psychological terror that is taking place for Kirsty and Amber will they be able to keep their secret and will these murders unmask them both. It is the fear of that while holding together their lives as the world falls to pieces around them. Is it possible to hold everything together or do you revert to the type of person the feral society expects you to be egged on by the tabloid press or can you move on. This book is a brilliant debut thriller with so many twists and turns you really cannot predict how the story will end for both the central characters. In some ways you feel for both Kirsty and Amber as the underlying knowledge society will never really allow them to move on to change their lives if their secret comes out. You can feel their fear and the towns fear as people are being killed. This really is an exciting and exhilarating read that tests the bounds of what you believe and what you want to believe. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and see what sort of person you are, can people really change?show more
by Paul D
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